Well, I’m alive. So I guess that means I made it through my first 10 miler! And I suppose the fact that I’m calling it my first 10 miler means I’m not hurting enough to rule out the possibility of another!
Overall, the race was good. We got to the Dome at about 6:50am and had literally just enough time for Twitter Guy to hit the portapotty and get in our corral before start. We were in the last corral (I’m slow, I know, get over it!), and though we were told by SOOO many people that the first mile is just a “shuffle” – I didn’t feel like it was. We were able to get to a decent pace at least by the time we hit the Guthrie.
The most discouraging part of the day was this: Juan (this is the nickname I have for the voice of the man on my Nike Plus) is a liar. For those of you who aren’t runners – the Nike Plus is a sensor that goes on your shoe and tracks both your running distance and pace. Then, in your ear through your iPod, it tells you things like, “Distance: 1 mile, Time: 12 minutes, Current Pace: 12 minutes per mile.” I named him Juan because until Sunday, I loved him. And I used him in the race to pace ourselves and not go too fast out the gate.
But Juan is a liar. At the mile 3 mile marker, Juan believed we were at mile 3.3. And it just got worse. He “finished the race” at about 9.1. I wanted to throw Juan in the garbage and he was truly discouraging.
But other than that, here’s my ups and downs of the race:
Ups (thinks that make me go wooooo!):
- The spectators. People cheer you along the whole way and it was great. Specifically our families were amazing. Seeing my parents, Twitter Guy’s parents and his sister and her fiance and puppy was awesome. It really gave me an energy boost.
- The water stops – each is sponsored by a different Twin Cities company, so these are really great energy builders. Whether it’s Target or Piper or ING, there are tons of people screaming for you and encouraging you to keep going. It was awesome.
- I loved the number of runners! There were so many people around, it was great motivation and mutual excitement for everyone.
- The fact that we finished. And the finish line in general. One of Twitter Guy’s awesome law school friends cheered us on about mile 9.5 and boy did I need it at that point! But crossing the finish was awesome.
Downs (thinks that make me go yuck):
- The hills – I know, I know, hills are part of the deal. But I hated them.
- The last 5 miles of the course. The first 5 were amazing – you see the river and it winds along river road. You always feel like it’s something new to see and experience. And then you hit Summit – and frankly, I got bored. Running straight at a slight incline for 5 miles is definitely not my bag. I tend to run here there and everywhere, so running in a straight line on one street for 5 miles got really super old.
- The marathon signage mixed with the 10 mile signage was deceiving for me. For instance, you hit the “20 mile marker” and the announcers there are shouting that you’re at 4 miles, but you’re really not. You still have .2 miles to go to get to 4. It just made the miles feel longer to me.
Overall, it was a great race. Definitely ran slower than I thought I would…but part of that is because I was training with my Nike Plus and he told me I was faster than I really am. Damn you, Juan. So 2:18 was the final chip time, and I feel good about that.
Still thinking a half marathon might be next on the docket – but let’s wait for me to stop walking like an old lady before making that decision. For now, I’m just excited to exercise for the sake of endorphins and not for the sake of training.
Marcy Twete is the Founder and CEO of Career Girl Network and the author of the book “You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works.” At Career Girl Network, Marcy provides women with information, resources, and networking to empower them in their careers and to advance the work of women in business as a whole. Prior to launching Career Girl Network, Marcy worked in numerous nonprofit organizations and as a consultant in the field of nonprofit fundraising, marketing, and community relations. Marcy is a graduate of the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, Minnesota, and a native of rural North Dakota. She is the Vice Chair of the Chicago Board of Directors for Step Up Women’s Network in Chicago and a member of the Advisory Board for Girls on the Run Twin Cities, and is dedicated to advancing the work of organizations that move the needle for women and girls worldwide.